The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a list of priority projects in the Northeast Corridor, a railroad line that spans from Boston to Washington, D.C. The list will advance a systematic approach for the improvement and development of the commuter and intercity passenger rail backbone of the region’s rail network.
Specifically, the Project Inventory creates a project pipeline to assist Amtrak, States, and the public with long-term planning that will improve service. It will guide up to $24 billion in funding that FRA is investing in NEC intercity passenger rail service through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program (Partnership Program).
The NEC is critical to the American economy. It is America’s busiest intercity passenger rail corridor, serving 800,000 passengers daily pre-pandemic and spanning an area that accounts for 20% of the national GDP. The first NEC Project Inventory includes a total of 68 projects divided into 15 Major Backlog Projects and 53 Capital Renewal, Stations, and Improvement Projects.
The projects will reverse a decades-long underinvestment in the country’s infrastructure by replacing and rehabilitating vital rail assets while also planning for major rail station upgrades and expansions. By increasing the reliability, frequency, and quality of passenger rail services, these investments will improve the rider experience and provide customers with even more flexible transportation options.
“Modernizing and expanding the NEC through a transparent and well-organized approach will mean faster trips, fewer disruptions, improved safety, and an overall better experience for the hundreds of thousands of riders who depend on the corridor daily,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “The NEC Project Inventory will allow FRA, States, and stakeholders to fully capitalize on the transformative opportunities afforded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by clearly defining our rail development goals and targeting investments where they are most needed.”
Projects on the NEC must be included in the NEC Project Inventory to be eligible for Partnership Program funding, for which FRA will issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity before the end of the calendar year. After this initial Inventory, FRA will publish the NEC Project Inventory at least once every two years to update allocations for projects and to include new projects in the inventory as appropriate.